- A "like new" physical condition. Physical condition is one of the most obvious places to start when comparing refurbished servers to used gear. If you purchase a refurbished server, you're likely to receive a piece of hardware that looks brand new. Refurbished servers are cleaned and painted to look like brand new so that there will be little, if any, physical indication that the server is, in fact, refurbished. With used servers, you never know what you're going to get. It’s possible to get a used piece of equipment that looks like new, but it’s more likely that you will be able to tell that the server isn’t new just by looking at it.
- A component that has been returned to factory settings. During the refurbishment process, servers are returned to the original factory settings so that it performs (as well as looks) like new. Once a server has been returned to its original factory settings, for all intents and purposes, it can be considered to be “new”—other than the fact that it was owned and used by someone else already. When you buy used servers that have not been refurbished, you get what you get—and it’s unlikely that the server will be returned to the original factory settings.
- A product that has been tested multiple times to ensure performance and reliability. Refurbished servers are rigorously tested to ensure that it is reliable and works as promised. In fact, most refurbished gear is tested multiple times—when it arrives at the refurbishment company, during the refurbishment process, before it’s put into inventory for sale, and again before it ships to the customer. The only testing that a used server is likely to get (if any at all) is whether it lights up when the power button is turned to “on.”
- A warranty. A big differentiator between used and refurbished servers is whether a warranty is included or not. Quite frankly, quality refurbished equipment will come with a warranty. End of story. Used servers are sold “as-is” and are unlikely to come with a warranty of any kind. Guess where this leaves you if you have performance issues?
- An opportunity for support and maintenance. Quality refurbished servers will be eligible for OEM and third party support and maintenance programs. Refurbished server eligibility is determined by the quality of the goods provided by the refurbishment company—so who you partner with matters. Since used servers are not tested, cleaned, or returned to the original factory settings, it is unlikely that they will be covered by most maintenance and support programs.
- Recourse, if needed. When you purchase refurbished servers from a reputable source, your purchase is guaranteed to perform. In the unlikely event that the equipment doesn’t perform, a reputable seller will work with you to ensure you get an adequate replacement. Nothing about used IT hardware is guaranteed, so if you inadvertently buy a dud, you’re stuck with it. What’s worse is that you probably don’t have much recourse with the seller.
- Guaranteed authenticity. Reputable companies that refurbish and resell servers take great pains to ensure that they eliminate any and all questionable gear from their stock, assuring you that you are buying an authentic branded server. Sellers of used servers make no such guarantee--so it's definitely a "buyer beware" situation.
Questions? Call 888-210-7636 or contact one of our IT Hardware Specialists today for a free consultation.